New York Rangers fans can breathe a little easier now that first-line center Derek Stepan and the team have agreed to a new two-year contract.
The deal was completed on Thursday and is worth a total of $6.15 million, according to Newsday.
“I knew we would get it done [with Stepan] but I wish it had been done a few days earlier so he could’ve played a couple of games,” Rangers general manager Glen Sather told the New York Post.
Stepan, 23, led the Rangers in scoring during the lockout-shortened 2013 season with 44 points in 48 games. He then tallied five points in 12 playoff games for the Original Six club.
Part of the problem in re-signing Stepan, a restricted free agent, was New York’s lack of salary cap space. According to CapGeek, the Blueshirts are currently $294,167 over the cap ceiling.
The Rangers end their preseason schedule on Friday and open the regular season in Phoenix on Oct. 3.